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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Apr 11, 2007 11:58am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead songs - referencing world/political events

The Dead's lyrics were never overtly political for the most part, but sometimes subtle references slip in between...

"Uncle John's Band": "Goddamn, well I declare/have you seen the like?/Their walls are filled with cannonballs/their motto is 'don't tread on me'."

"Morning Dew" is said to be about a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and thus an anti-nuke protest song "...I guess it doesn't matter anyway."

Most of "Truckin'" is bent towards frustration at overzealous law enforcement "...busted down on Bourbon Street/Set up like a bowling pin/knocked down it gets to wearin thin/they just won't let you be..."

"Bertha" carries similar trouble with the law themes: "test me test me/why don't you arrest me?Bring me to the jailhouse til the sun goes down."

...not to mention "The Other One:" "...it left a smoking crater of my mind i'd like to blow it away/but the heat came round and busted me for smiling on a cloudy day..."

"New Speedway Boogie" makes reference to the stabbing death at Altamont and to the innocence/end of the 60's hippie ideal:
"...Things went down we don't understand but I think in time we will"....."I saw things getting out of hand/I guess they always will...."

...and this is just my interpretation, I have no idea if it's accurate, but I consider "Ship of Fools" to be a political cautionary tale, most in particular the final verse:

The Bottle stands as empty
as it was filled before
Time there was, and plenty
but from that cup no more...
Though I could not caution all
I still might warn a few:
DON'T LEND YOUR HAND TO RAISE NO FLAG ATOP NO
SHIP OF FOOLS




This post was modified by grendelschoice on 2007-04-11 18:58:58

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Apr 11, 2007 4:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead songs - referencing world/political events

hey Grendel

have often wondered if Ship Of Fools is a direct reference to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and his "Sea Org" (?)

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Apr 11, 2007 11:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead songs - referencing world/political events

considering the sensitive religious nature of the topic it doesn't surprise me that no one here dared to touch that one

...not even with one of smi2les handles

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Poster: cush11 Date: Apr 12, 2007 12:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead songs - referencing world/political events

... On a 10 foot pole...

;)

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Apr 12, 2007 2:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead songs - referencing world/political events

Interesting theory...I don't know enough about Scientology (other than what the guys on South Park have made fun of) to know....but to me, it just fits every time I see/hear the latest moronic political outrage coming out of Washington...the line just seems to come to mind automatically.